Focus is a highly regarded educational program open to all students in the San Ramon Valley School District. Established in 1983, it is a partnership in education between students, teachers and parents. Together, we strive to provide a rewarding and challenging learning environment.
Focus strives to develop creative students who are critical thinkers with a drive for lifelong learning. All students receive the District's core curriculum and Focus teachers also provide an enhanced learning experience for students. Parent donations provide teachers with the means for enrichment materials and the extra paraprofessional and volunteer hours they need to accomplish their goals. Parental donations and fund raising supplement standard school resources. Students work together in a cooperative setting that supports a lower student-to-adult ratio. The program seeks to build within each student a sense of responsibility, self-discipline, confidence and pride in accomplishment.
Key components of the Focus program include:
· Extra teacher aide time
· Longer school day for grades 1-3 (8:30-3:00)
· Parental involvement
· Same teacher for two years
· Staggered day for kindergarten (early/late bird schedule)
· Cross grade level activities
· Second Language Instruction
This program requires a commitment from its staff, students and parents to work as a community to bring together volunteer, financial, technical and leadership resources to enhance our classrooms. Parental input has allowed our program to reflect our community and the needs of our children. Frequent communications between school and home are instrumental to the success of our program. Parents share responsibilities by being classroom volunteers and/or helping in other ways. Supplementary resources and additional paraprofessional time are important for providing an enhanced learning experience. The total cooperation of home and school is essential to ensure the best possible learning environment for students.
While funding is strictly voluntary, parent donations are necessary for the operation and continuance of the program. For more information regarding parent donations, contact the one of the co-chairs listed below. Families unable to afford the requested donation, or requesting an alternative payment plan, may notify either the Focus Treasurer, one of the two Co-Chairpersons, or the Neil Armstrong School Principal. All financial arrangements are kept strictly confidential.
Additional funding for the program is acquired through fundraisers. This funding is used for program enhancements such as computers, books, educational programs, manipulatives, etc.
Enrollment for the Focus program is held during Kindergarten registration for the following year. Each new applicant must fill out an application, which can be obtained from and returned to the Neil Armstrong School office. All applications received during the window for non-siblings will be accorded equal status in a lottery process to be held after the regular kindergarten registration process. Priority will be accorded to entering Kindergarten students with siblings already in the program.
Every new family wishing to enroll must then attend a Focus Orientation meeting, usually held in April. A list of children wishing to enroll is then generated. When openings become available for the following school year, families on the list are contacted in order to see if they wish to join the Focus program. That contact may occur at any time during the late spring or summer, including up to or after the first day of school.
Families not initially selected for Focus are placed on a waiting list. During the year, families will be contacted to determine whether they wish to remain on the waiting list for a possible opening during that year or the following school year. New applicants to the program the following year for that grade level will be placed behind those families already on the waiting list.
For more information and contacts, please go to the Neil Armstrong Focus page.